The MDI (Microsoft Document Imaging) file format is a proprietary file type developed by Microsoft for storing raster images of scanned documents together with optional annotations or metadata. It was originally introduced with Office XP and was based on the TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) extension.
Origins and Evolution
MDI was created to enable users to scan documents and save them in a format that supported text recognition through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. Over time, it was largely replaced by newer, more versatile formats, and its support was discontinued with the release of Microsoft Office 2010.
Technical Aspects of MDI
MDI files harness OCR technology to allow for the searching and editing of text within the scanned image document. This file type supports a high compression ratio, which means it can store images with less memory without significantly compromising quality.
MDI files were primarily opened using Microsoft Office Document Imaging (MODI), an application that was part of older versions of Microsoft Office. With MODI no longer supported, users seeking to access MDI files can use alternative software like TIFF viewers or convert them to other formats using conversion tools.
Alternatives to MDI
With the decline in MDI usage, alternative file formats have gained popularity, such as PDF, which is widely recognized for its cross-platform compatibility and support for text, images, and annotations. Other common formats include JPG for images and DOCX for text documents, each serving specific purposes and having broad application support.